4) Amber Mariano
As recognizable of a name Amber Mariano is, she’s still flying under the radar. Many fans believe that her husband did most of the work in Survivor: All-Stars, while she benefited from a jury that couldn’t get past Boston Rob’s aggressive style of play. If he wasn’t on this season, Amber would have a better shot at winning, but she still is a sneaky sleeper pick.
It was clear from the pre-game coverage that a lot of these winners brought their egos with them out to Fiji. Amber wasn’t one of them. Her self-control and willingness to go with the flow will prevent her from playing too hard too early. If anything, the big egos from the rest of the cast will work in her favor, giving her more flexibility to maneuver without being targeted.
Even if Boston Rob played a better game than Amber in All-Stars, you can’t deny the impact of her social game. She played a big role in keeping the heat off of this blooming power couple. A perfect example of this was her relationship with Jenna Lewis, and by extension Rupert. The bond she built with them turned into an incredible asset as Rob and Amber formed an alliance with them that brought them all to the Final Four.
Amber’s ability to naturally bond with her tribe members, along with her underrated game intelligence makes her a legitimate contender to win again. The biggest threat to her game is her husband, and the sooner he is out of it, the better it will be for her longevity. We’ll have to see if Sandra’s grudge with Boston Rob that was teased ahead of the premiere is actually going to affect Amber, or if it was simply a tease.